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How to protect your TV show concept in Australia

Pitching a television show is exciting and for some people, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. One of the most important considerations when pitching a TV show in Australia is how to protect your concept and prevent someone else running off with it. While intellectual property laws in Australia offer some protection for creators, it’s important to take additional steps to safeguard your ideas.

Here are a few tips for protecting your TV show concept when pitching in Australia:

Use a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

Before sharing your TV show concept with anyone, have them sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). An NDA is a legal contract that prevents the recipient from sharing any confidential information with others. By having an NDA in place, you can ensure that your TV show concept remains private and protected.

Trade Mark Your TV Show Title

To protect your TV show’s title, consider registering it as a trade mark. This will prevent others from using your title, or a variation of it, for a competing TV show. It’s important to note that trade mark registration can take some time, so it’s best to start the process early.

Limit Your Pitch Meetings

When pitching your TV show concept, be selective about who you share it with. Only pitch to reputable production companies and networks that you trust. It’s also important to limit the number of pitch meetings you have, as this reduces the chances of your concept being stolen or leaked.

Keep Good Records

Throughout the pitching process, keep good records of all interactions, including email correspondence and pitch meetings. This will provide evidence of your ownership and the originality of your TV show concept should you need to take legal action.

Include a Copyright and Commercial in Confidence Statement

A copyright statement indicates that your TV show concept is your original work and is protected under Australian copyright law. Including a copyright statement on your pitch document ensures that anyone who reads it is aware of your rights as the creator of the concept.

A commercial in confidence display on your pitch document ensures that the information contained within it is not disclosed to anyone without your permission. This display should clearly state that the pitch document is confidential and that the information contained within it is not to be shared with anyone else.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer

Finally, consider hiring an experienced lawyer to review any contracts or agreements related to your TV show concept. They can help you navigate the legal complexities of the industry and ensure that your rights are protected.

Protecting your TV show concept when pitching in Australia requires a combination of legal protections and strategic pitching. By taking the steps outlined above, you can safeguard your intellectual property and increase the likelihood of success for your TV show concept.